James Mason1

M, #1073, b. circa 1805, d. 9 February 1854
Relationship3rd great-grandfather of Keith Graham Bassett
Last Edited13 Dec 2016
Birth*circa 1805 Grosvenor Square, Middlesex2 
Conviction*7 July 1819 The Old Bailey, London, Middlesex;
923. JOHN TAYLOR, JAMES MASON, and THOMAS STITCHBOURNE were indicted for stealing, on the 21st of June, 30 lbs. of lead, value 5 s., the property of Samuel Favell, Richard Mead, David Cock, William Namur, James Norton, John Hammond, and William Montague, and fixed to a certain building of their's, and one fixture, viz. one copper, value 15 s., belonging to them, and fixed to the said building.
SECOND COUNT, the same, only stating it to belong to Samuel Robinson.
THIRD COUNT, the same, only stating them to belong to Ann Loyd and Catherine Blackstock.
THOMAS ABBEY. I am a carpenter. On the 21st of June, about a quarter before six o'clock in the morning, I was going to work, and saw the three prisoners with a bag, in Well-street, Hackney; from the bulk of it I suspected them - Taylor and Mason were lifting the bag on Stitchbourne's shoulder. I followed them about a hundred yards, they then parted; Stitchbourne went to the right-hand with the copper. I met a neighbour, we followed him, and found he had put his load down to rest - he said his father had sent him with the copper. I got a constable, and gave him in charge. We went and took the other prisoners about a quarter of a mile off. I am sure they are the boys.
JOHN FLETCHER. I followed the prisoners, and found the copper and lead in the bag, which Stitchbourne had; he said he brought it from Hommerton, but did not know the name of the street - he could give no account of it. I saw the two other prisoners coming through another way to meet Stitchbourne - they were secured. We took them to a public-house - Taylor had no shoes on; when they parted he took a pair of shoes from Stitchbourne.
THOMAS GOODWIN. I am a constable. I was fetched, and took Stitchbourne in charge. I took the other two, who were waiting in the street. In the way to the watch-house, Taylor and Mason said the bag belonged to them all. On searching Stitchbourne, I found a piece of a sink in his pocket. He pulled his shoes off, and gave them to Taylor, as he said they were his, but he had borrowed them. I took Stitchbourne to the premises, and asked him how they got in? he showed me, and said they went in at eleven o'clock, and meant to have had two coppers. I fitted the lead to the place.
SAMUEL ROBINSON, ESQ. I belong to the building, which are alms-houses. My interest is assigned to the persons named in the indictment.Ann Lloyd lives in them. The copper was fixed.
TAYLOR'S Defence. Stitchbourne asked me to give him a lift.
MASON'S Defence. I lifted it on his shoulder.
STITCHBOURNE'S Defence. I know nothing of the other two.
TAYLOR - GUILTY. Aged 15.
MASON - GUILTY. Aged 14.
STITCHBOURNE - GUILTY. Aged 12.
Transported for Seven Years.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.3 
Gaol*12 August 1819 Hulk "Bellerophon", Sheerness, Kent;
Received Twenty four Prisoners from Newgate 12 August 1819.
Name: James Mason
Age: 14
Offence: Stealing Lead
Where and When Convicted: Middlesex 7 July 1819
Sentence: 7 Years
How and When Disposed of: Disd 16 November 1821, Richmond, NSW4 
Transportation*30 April 1822 "Richmond", Hobart, TAS, Australia;
Richmond
150 Males V.D.L. Novr 1821
Names: James Mason
Where Convicted: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
When: 7th July 1819
Term: Seven Years5 
Muster 1823*1823 TAS, Australia;
Mason James, Richmond 1822, Middlesex, July 1819, 7, Thomas Triffitt6 
Muster 1826*1826 TAS, Australia;
Names: Mason James
Ships arrived by: Richmond
To whom assigned: Assd to Mr Triffitt7 
News-Arct19 August 1826 "the Hobart Town Gazette", Hobart, TAS, Australia;
GOVERNMENT NOTICE.
Colonial Secretaries Office, Aug. 16, 1826.
CERTIFICATES of Expiration of Term of Sentence have been granted to the undermentioned Persons during the last Week:-
James Mason .... Richmond
By Command of His Excellency,
W.H. Hamilton.8 
Birth of Soncirca 1831 NSW, Australia;Principal=Andrew Francis Mason2 
Birth of Daughtercirca 1835 Sydney, NSW, Australia;Principal=Elizabeth Ann Mason9 
Birth of Daughtercirca 1836 NSW, Australia;Principal=Sarah Sophia Mason2 
Marriage*5 September 1839 St Marys, Sydney, NSW, Australia;
I, James Mason (the mark of James Mason)
I, Elizabeth Stafford do hereby declare
that I am a Member of, or hold Communion with, the Roman Catholic
Church (signed)
I, Francis Murphy of Sydney
Minister of St Marys Church do hereby certify
that James Mason of Adelaide South Australia
and Elizabeth Stafford of same place
were joined together in Wedlock by me, on the fifth day of
September 1839 at St Marys Sydney
in the Presence of Hugh Flood & Jane Birmingham both of Sydney;Bride=Elizabeth Stafford10 
News-Arct15 February 1840 "The South Australian Register", Adelaide, SA, Australia;
RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT.
Tuesday, February 4.
THEFT - Robert Howeth, JamesBarker, Joseph Holloway, and James Mason,were charged with being suspected of stealing a hogshead of ale, a hogshead of porter, and a cart and harness, the property of Mr Calton, of the Royal Admiral. Mr Calton had purchased some ale and porter of Mr Stevens of the port, and which had been delivered on Monday afternoon. During the time that it was being delivered Howeth and Holloway were present. The things were in the yard at dusk in the evening, but on his getting up early on Tuesday morning, he missed them. Prosecutor proceeded to the Police Office, and gave information of the robbery, when he was informed that about ten o'clock on the previous night, police constable Birrell had seized the property in question, as also a horse, suspecting that the same had been stolen. Mr Calton recognised them as his own, with the exception of the horse, which belonged to the prisoner Barker. Police Constable Birrell stated that being on duty near Light-square on Monday evening, he saw the prisoner Holloway, with two other persons who ran away, with the horse, cart, and one cask in it, at the back of the prisonerMason’s premises, which are in Morphett-street. They were rolling another cask into the cart. He asked what they were about, when Holloway said he was going to take the things to the Half-way house on the port road. Birrell said—what is in the cask? when Holloway replied—porter, and went to Mr Best's house and borrowed a gimlet to tap it. At this time, three parties came from the house of Mason,one with a large gimlet in his hand, and who the policemen swore to beMason.They assisted Holloway in rolling up the other cask, but which fell from the cart. Birrell then held the horse's head, and told Holloway to come with him, which he did for a short distance, when he, Holloway, struck the horse and ran away. Birrell then proceeded with the things to the Police Office. On the following day, Mr Calton proceeded with police serjeant Higgins to Mr Fenton's, at the Reed Beds, where he understood Holloway was lodging. There were there informed that Holloway was not within, but on searching the house, he was found concealed in a bedroom, between the bed and the sacking bottom of the bedstead.
Holloway was fully committed to take his trial and the other prisoners were called upon to find good bail for their appearance at the next criminal sittings, and in default to be committed likewise.11 
News-Arct5 March 1840 "The Southern Australian", Adelaide, SA, Australia;
SUPREME COURT - CRIMINAL SIDE.
James Mason, aged 35; Robert Howarth, 32; James Barker, 43; Joseph Holloway, 50; stealing a hogshead of ale, a hogshead of porter, a cart, and a set of harness, vaue 40/., the property of Charles Calton, Hindley-street, on the 3rd Fbruary, 1840 at Alelaide.12 
News-Arct10 March 1840 "The Adelaide Chronicle", Adelaide, SA, Australia;
SUPREME COURT - CRIMINAL SIDE.
THE Supreme Court sat in Whitmore Square on Tuesday last, and during theweek, for the trial of criminal cases.
There were no fewer than fifly-two bills brought before the Grand Jury, rather aheavy calendar for so young a settlement; but we believe that a very great majority of the prisoners are from the other colonies.
We are indebted to the Register for thefollowing report of the proceedings of thecourt,
Joseph Holloway, a man about fifty years old, and James Mason of Morphett-street, appeared to answer to a charge of stealing a hogshead of ale, a hogshead of porter, a cart, and a set of harness, from the yard of the Royal Admiral, Hindley-street, on the 3rd of February last. From the evidence of Mr. Calton, it appeared that he had several hogsheads of ale and porter in his yard on the night of the 3rd of February, and that next morning, a hogshead of ale, a hogshead of porter, a cart and harness were taken from the yard. Mr. Calton went to the Police-office, to give information of the theft, when he was told that two casks of ale or porter, and a horse and cart, had been seized by the Police the night before, and were in the Police-office. Mr. Calton gave the marks of the casks he had lost, and on examination they were found to correspond with those in possession of the Police. The same morning Mr. Calton and Sejeant Higgins went in search of Holloway, and found him concealed under a bed at Mr. Fenton's, at the Reed Beds.
Police Constable Birrell, being on duty in Morphett-street on the evening of the theft, saw a horse and cart standing near Mason's door. There was a cask on the cart, and and three men were rolling another cask towards it. When Birrell went up, two of the men ran away, the other—the prisoner Holloway— remained. Birrel suspected the casks contained smuggled spirits, and he therefore enquired what was in them, when Holloway said it was porter. Witness said he was not sure of that, when Holloway went and got a gimblet and pierced the cask to show it was porter. Birrell said it looked very suspicious, and asked who the horse and cart belonged to, and what they were going to do with the porter. Holloway said he was going to take it to the Halfway house. During the conversation, Mason came out at his back door, and, after a few words, assisted to roll the cask which was on the ground into the cart. The cask however, fell out again, and Holloway said—"Let us go with the one we have got." He then mounted the cart and drove off towards Currie-street. Witness followed the cart till it got near to Mr. Johnston's office, when he seized the horse by the head and turned it round, telling Holloway he must go to the Police-office with him. He then jumped off the cart and ran away.—The case against Mason being given up, Mr. Mann said that he felt it due to his client to state, that had the charge been followed out, he was prepared to prove a complete alibi that there must have been some mistake on the part of the Policeman. The prisoner Holloway received a good character from Mr. Calton, Mr. Wm. Williams, Mr. J. L. Crabb, and Mr. Bonny. The jury acquitted Mason, and found Holloway guilty, but recommended him to mercy on account of his previous good character He was sentenced to one years imprisonment with hard labor. Counsel for the prosecution, the Advocate-General; for the prisoners, Mr. Mann.13 
News-Arct16 March 1842 "The Adelaide Chronicle", Adelaide, SA, Australia;
HENRY WILSON, aged 30, was indicted for breaking into the house of James Crichell, publican, of North Adelaide, and stealing therefrom a cash-box containing money to the amount of £46 10s. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.
The Advocate General conducted the prosecution, and Mr Mann appeared for the prisoner.
Mr Critchell deposed that he kept the "Hibernia" public-house. On Tuesday evening, the 9th November, had a party, of friends, and the prisoner and another man (not being amongst those invited) came in and had a glass or two of grog. A neighbour asked witness to stand up and have a dance with him, which he did. Prisoner stood hear the door, and went out with the other man during the dance. After the dance was over, sent his wife into the bedroom to get some silver, and in consequence of what she stated, he went and found the door forced in and the cashbox gone. Had counted the money on the Monday morning, and there was £44 10s, in it, in cash and notes; and had remarked that one of the notes had a corner torn off. To enter into the bedroom, it was necessary to go out into the street first. Prisoner had been gone from the room about a quarter of an hour when the discovery was made. The young man who was with prisoner left a coat on the form; they paid for all they had at the time. The box was found next morning in North Adelaide, broken open, and the money gone. The box contained, besides the cash, his licence, some receipts, a brace of pistols, a silver soon, and other articles. Had received some of them back again from the police. About a week afterwards, met prisoner and asked him why he went away from the house so suddenly on the evening in question? and he said, it was because he had no money. Witness answered, that if he had none when he went to his house, he had plenty when he went away. Prisoner replied, that he had not, neither did he know anything of the robbery. He seemed somewhat alarmed during this conversation, and witness gave him in charge.
Cross-examined—On the night in question any person could have come in besides the prisoner or George Conway; there were only one or two other strangers present; the dancing took place in the tap-room, where any one might go and take a social glass; there were three rooms following, the doors all fronting the street. It was not very dark that night; between the time when the dancing commenced to that of discovering the robbery was about an hour and a half; the door of the bed-room was about 20 feet from the taproom; the guests were all very merry, that night, and he did not hear the door broken, but wished he had; had known the prisoner some time before, and he had once done witness a kindness by helping him up a hill in the tiers; prisoner was not particularly alarmed on meeting him a week afterwards; he was driving his team near the bridge in the ordinary way; did not know where Wilson lived.
Mrs Critchell, wife of last witness, said that during the dance, prisoners were walking to and fro in the room, and did not seem to sit down and enjoy themselves with the rest of the company. She received some money from her husband just as the dance commenced; took it into the bedroom; placed it and a £40 bill which she had to take care of for a gentleman in the box, and returned, locking the door after her very carefully. About, perhaps, half an hour afterwards, she went again to get some change, and found the door forced and the box gone; immediately missed the prisoner and his companion, the latter of whom had left his coat on the stool.
Cross-examined—All the people there were of her acquaintance except the two men; no others could have come in during the dance without her knowing it; people going by outside could get in the bedroom without her or her husband's seeing them.
By the Advocate-General, through the Court—Believed her husband gave the prisoner his glass
of grog, and the other man paid for his.
By his Honor—The coat left was a very good looking one and worth more than £2 she supposed.
Critchell recalled—Did give prisoner a glass of grog when he came in for having helped him in the Tiers; thought he had another glass or two, and that the other man paid for them.
Mrs Pratt, wife of Mr Pratt, blacksmith, of North Adelaide, knew Mr Critchell very well and was at a party at their house on 9th November, and while dancing with Mr Critchell, saw the prisoner outside the window, and on her noticing him he drew back; She saw him first near the sign-post opposite the bed-room window when she was going to the house; it was after Mrs Critchell went out of the room the last time that she saw the prisoner draw back from the window; it was about a quarter of an hour after that that the alarm was given; saw the prisoner and the other man drinking together, and observed them whispering to each other; saw the other man go out in his shirt sleeves, but prisoner did not go out with him.
Cross-examined—Prisoner and the other man did not go in at the same time, and they were not the only persons that whispered together; the ladies and gentlemen dancing might have whispered together; very likely they did; did not see the prisoner go out at all; when she bowed down to look at prisoner through the window she was not far from him.
Mr Mann—If you were not married I should say you had fallen in love with him, Mrs Pratt (laughter).
Cross-examination continued—The house was in a public situation; it was nearly or quite ten o'clock when the alarm was given.
Wm. Wills, in the employ of Mr Rains, spoke to having found the cash box next morning on the top of the hill at North Adelaide, the lid being broken.
Dougall Cameron, the policeman, also took prisoner into custody, and searched him; having left the force was not present, and being duly called upon without appearing, his recognizances were declared to be forfeited.
The prisoner's examination was now put in, which stated to the effect that on leaving Critchell's on the night in question he left the person who had been with him (George Reid) outside the house talking to a young woman, and that the money found upon him was paid him by his master.
Mr Critchell being recalled, said he saw some pound notes in the hands of policeman at the examination at the Resident Magistrate's Court, and one of them (now produced) he considered
to have been his, because the corner was torn off.
By his Honor—Did not observe that the word "McLaren" was also gone.
Mr Mann addressed the jury for the prisoner, to the effect that there was nothing further in evidence about the prisoner than the mere fact of his having been accidently present at the time when the dancing was going forward, and during which the door appeared to have been broken open; that when he was found he had not £44 in his possession, but only £2, the possession of which he had sufficiently accounted for by stating that be received it from his master; and the whole circumstances were so trifling that the case ought not to have been brought before a jury.
James Mason deposed—That prisoner had been about eighteen months in his employ, as a bullock driver, and had been very upright in his conduct during all that time. He paid him £3 in notes on the 12th November; the notes were oldish looking ones.
Cross-examined by the Advocate-General
Where do you live, Mr Mason?
Witness—At the corner of Morphett-street.
Advocate-General—Where did you live before
you came to Adelaide?
Witness—Launceston.
Advocate-General—How did you get there?
Witness—In a ship.
Advocate-General—Who paid your passage?
Witness—The Circular Head Company.
Advocate-General—Were you ever transported?
Witness—I do'nt consider that has anything to do with the matter.
Advocate-General—Yes, but it has.
His Honor—-Well, were you ever transported?
Witness—Yes, I was.
Advocate-General—What were you transported for?
Witness—Why, for a mere nothing at all.
Advocate-General—What sort of a house do you keep in Adelaide, Mr Mason?
Witness—Why, I keep a butcher's shop now, but I used to keep a lodging and boardinghouse, &c.
Advocate-General—Oh! board and lodging too—eh?
Witness—Yes.
Advocate-General—What sort of persons have been in the habit of lodging in your house?
Witness—Any body that had the money to pay for lodging.
Advocate-General—But what was the character of these persons?
Witness—It was not for me to enquire into their character, so long as they paid me the money.
Advocate-General—Do you consider your house has always been conducted in an orderly manner?
Witness—Yes I do.
Advocate-General—Have you had females lodging in your house?
Witness—Yes, males and females too.
Advocate-General—Were males and females admitted at all hours indiscriminately?
Witness—It did'nt matter to me at what hours they came in, so long as they paid me.
Advocate-General—I shall not ask you any further questions, Mr Mason, you may go down.
His Honor having summed up, the jury returned a verdict of acquittal.14 
News-Arct13 September 1845 "The Adelaide Observer", Adelaide, SA, Australia;
At a meeting of the Bench of Magistrates, on Monday last, 8th September, H. R. Wigley, Esq., in the Chair, the following applications for publicans' licences and transfers were considered: —
TRANSFERS.
"Gray's Inn Tavern," Gilles Arcade—from Edward Harris to James Mason, refused.15 
News-Arct23 July 1853 "The Adelaide Observer", Adelaide, NSW, Australia;
NOTICE.
THIS is to give Notice, that in the event of any person or persons being found REMOVING or CUTTING TIMBER or STONE, or in any manner trespassing upon Sections 479 and 480, in the district of Willunga (Maclaren Vale; or any person making or attempting to make a thoroughfare through Clare Villa Farm, Maclaren Vale aforesaid, will be prosecuted according to law, without further notice.
J. & E. MASON, Maclaren Vale.
July 14, 1853.
Witness—William John Lone,
Fiinnss-street, North Adelaide.16 
Death*9 February 1854 Muckleford Creek near Castlemaine, VIC, Australia;
When and where Died: on the 9th of February 1854 at Muckleford Creek
Name and Surname, Rank or Profession: James Mason age 49
Sex and Age: Male age 49 years
Cause of Death: Dysentry & Low fever
Duration of last illness: 13 days
Medical Attendant by whom certified: Henry Howlett
When last Seen: 8 February 1854
Father: - Mason
Mother: Mary Mason
Informant: Francis A Mason, Farmer, Tarangowa, the son of the deceased
Registered: Castlemaine
Where Born, and how long in the Australian Colonies: Born in Grosvenor Square in the County of Middlesex in England and lived in the Colonies of Victoria and South Australia for 25 years
Married: At Saint Marys Church in Sydney to Elizabeth Stafford
Children of Marriage: Andrew Francis Mason age 22, Elizabeth Sophia wife of Andrew Maddagan age 19, Sarah Sophia Mason age 17 years2 
News-Arct*15 March 1854 "The South Australian Register", SA, Australia;
DIED
On the 11th February, at Forest Creek, Victoria, Mr. J. Mason, of Clare Villa Farm, McLaren Vale, much lamented by his widow and family, aged 49 years.    17 

Family

Elizabeth Stafford b. 1815
Children

Citations

  1. [S196] Sue and Rob Gill.
  2. [S1395] VIC Death certificate.
  3. [S1221] Proceedings of the Old Bailey.
  4. [S1580] UK Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849, online www.ancestry.com, "Bellerophon" 1819.
  5. [S1664] Ancestry Convict Transportation Registers, online https://ancestry.com, "Richmond" 1821.
  6. [S1663] 1823 Muster for Tasmania.
  7. [S1665] 1826 Muster for Tasmania.
  8. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, The Hobart Town Gazette, Saturday, August 19, 1826.
  9. [S1575] VIC Marriage certificate.
  10. [S1570] NSW Early Church Records 1788-1854, V1839401 90/1839 James Mason & Elizabeth Stafford.
  11. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, The South Australian Register, Saturday, February 15, 1840.
  12. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, The Southern Australian, Thursday, March 5, 1840.
  13. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, The Adelaide Chronicle, Tuesday, March 10, 1840.
  14. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, The Adelaide Chronicle, Wednesday, March 16, 1842.
  15. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, The Adelaide Observer, Saturday, September 13, 1845.
  16. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, The Adelaide Observer, Saturday, July 23, 1853.
  17. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/, "The South Australian Register", Wednesday, March 15, 1854.
  18. [S49] Marriage Certificate, Andrew Madegen & Elizabeth Mason 1854/257.